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US Senate approves US-Uruguay bilateral investment treaty

Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State

U.S. Senate Approves U.S.-Uruguay Bilateral Investment Treaty

14 September 2006

Pact will increase investment, jobs, and trade, say U.S. officials

Washington — The U.S.-Uruguay Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) will benefit the economies of both countries, is an important step toward closer economic cooperation between the two nations and reflects the United States’ commitment to explore and expand economic opportunities in the Western Hemisphere, say senior U.S. officials.

The BIT signed November 4, 2005, by the United States and Uruguay at the Summit of the Americas, held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, was approved by the United States Senate September 12. (See related article.)

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice explained the importance of the BIT’s passage September 14.

"The U.S.-Uruguay BIT will help promote prosperity for both our peoples by creating jobs, and it is an important step toward deepening our economic and trade relationship," she said.

The United States is Uruguay’s largest trading partner, and U.S. direct investment in Uruguay was $533 million in 2004. The investment protections in the treaty will offer current and future U.S. investors in Uruguay a more stable and predictable legal and regulatory environment, thereby promoting increased investment in Uruguay, greater two-way trade, and expanded economic growth and prosperity in Uruguay, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Beyond these benefits, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said that the BIT reflects the United States’ broader efforts to expand its economic ties to Latin America.

"The U.S.-Uruguay BIT advances the [Bush] administration’s policies to strengthen trade and investment ties across Latin America," she said. "This treaty demonstrates the United States’ commitment to explore new and innovative economic opportunities with our neighbors in the hemisphere."

Schwab added that the United States will continue to work closely with hemispheric partners that implement sound economic policies and are committed to the rule of law, citing Uruguay as an example.

"We are especially pleased that we were able to conclude our first BIT in several years with Uruguay, which has been a strong partner of the United States in the World Trade Organization and a longtime democratic model for the region," said Schwab.

Both houses of the Uruguayan legislature already have approved the BIT overwhelmingly, and it will enter into force 30 days after the exchange of instruments of ratification.

 source: US Department of State